Founded in 1966, FCYFL is the largest independent football league in Virginia and one of the most successful youth football leagues in the country. We serve the Northern Virginia region and are comprised of 23 Youth Football Programs from Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties and the City of Alexandria. All of our programs run on a not-for-profit basis. Annually, FCYFL fields hundreds of teams and thousands of players.
All of our member clubs are now registering for the fall season. Please click the "Member Clubs" link above to find a club near you!
All coaches in our league must annually undergo a background check, sign a coaches’ code of conduct and complete the USA Football Certification training. USA Football certification includes annual testing to assure that all coaches are trained in the latest Heads Up fundamentals as well as such safety measures as hydration and heat awareness and the proper fitting of equipment. We are deeply committed to providing the safest environment for kids to enjoy the game we love and respect.
FCYFL is one of the only leagues nationwide that has a mandatory player participation rule. This simply means that all kids who are enrolled in our league must play in every game. We make this rule a point of emphasis, and any coach who fails to comply is subject to a variety of sanctions including suspension.
One other key factor that makes our league unique is that we have three levels of competitive play as well as a proven age/weight matrix. As a result, players are matched against competition that is similar in regard to size, age, experience and skill. Our decades of experience demonstrate that this system promotes player safety, player development, fair competition and enjoyment of the game.
The following bulletin provides clarification on the FCYFL Player Participation Rule found within our rulebook. If you witness what you believe to be a violation of this rule, please contact your Club Commissioner.
Formatting may be inconsistent as this was copied to the webpage from Word. For a more consistent and printable version, a PDF version is available on the Documents page.
Bulletin Number: 20171005-B-1.01 Player Participation Rule
To: Commissioners and Coaches
From: Jim McGrath, Chairman
Bulletin Number: 20171005-B-1.01 (Replaces FCYFL Bulletin #32012 issued in September 2012; The new Policy Bulletin is substantially the same.)
Player Participation Rule
The Player Participation Rule was implemented by the FCYFL Board of Commissioners primarily to ensure consistent playing time in the Anklebiter, National, and Central Divisions. This bulletin is specifically directed at these competition levels.
In the past, traditional methods of monitoring playing time or depending on coaches to EQUALLY apply the same standard have failed. In the end, kids weren’t playing. When kids don’t play… they don’t return the following year. Players cannot develop their football skills, learn the game, and have fun when they sit the bench! The wounds are long lasting … and kids don’t return. The FCYFL and the Club suffers, but more importantly, kids don’t have fun!
Since the implementation of the FCYFL Participation Rule our league has had higher percentages of players return year-on-year. When kids play, they improve… it’s that simple! Players are returning because they had fun and their football skills are developing.
The Participation Rule is the strength and foundation of our League and the expectation for full compliance is the total responsibility of every coach, administrator, and Club Commissioner. Each coach must know, understand, and apply the participation rule as intended. Any violation or deviation from the spirit and intent of the rule will be dealt with severely. Sanctions will be levied against the head coach, assistant coaches, the team, and/or the organization. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, forfeiture of games, Club monetary penalties, and elimination from playoff competition. This is all part of the process to educate our volunteers about our expectations on playing fair and developing young people into better football players and citizens – and to increase their enjoyment of the game.
The American Division, FCYFL’s most competitive level, rosters players that should consistently accumulate a reasonable share of playing time throughout a game and the season. The Club Commissioner must immediately correct American Division teams that choose players and don’t play them a fair and reasonable amount of plays per the spirit and intent of the rule and the overall concept of player participation. Please refer to the FCYFL Rulebook, or contact your club commissioner, for specifics on the American Level requirements.
The Mechanics of the Rule (Anklebiters, National, and Central)
The maximum number of players per team at Anklebiters, National, and Central Divisions is (22).
The offensive team MAY choose to play (12) kids while running their offense or defense, using the (12th) player to shuttle plays into the huddle. The coach can choose to shuttle plays on either offense or defense, HOWEVER, you cannot do both.Should a coach elect to shuttle plays, then the team is prevented from shuttling plays on the opposite side (offense or defense whichever the case may be). The players running the shuttle MUST start on the other side of the ball when the next change of possession occurs. They must continue to stay out on the field, and play uninterrupted until the next change of possession.This pattern of play must be followed throughout the game until the end.
At the CHANGE of ANY possession, all the remaining players on the bench, MUST enter the game, and stay in the game, until another legal change of possession takes place, i.e., interception, fumble, or loss of downs.
The following special team plays are exempt from this rule: Kickoff, Kickoff Receive, Extra Point Attempts, Extra Point Block/Defense. These – and only these – are not counted as regular scrimmage plays for the Player Participation Rule.
The following “special team” plays ARE subject to this rule and do not allow substitutions of one-way players: Punt, Punt Block, Field Goal, and Field Goal Block. These are considered regular scrimmage plays and the Player Participation Rule applies. In other words, these are regular 4th down (normally) plays and a coach may NOT bring in his best players for these situations at the expense of one-way players.
SUBSTITUTING for players is allowed, but only for those players that are playing both ways! Substitutions must not create a situation where a 2-way player is no longer playing a full game on one side of the ball or another.
One-way players MAY NOT be substituted out when they are not doing their job, or because they missed some practices, or for any other reason EXCEPT injury. If a coach is found to be using this exception (parents will report this and this is posted on the FCYFL website) as a loophole in the rule they WILL be expelled from the League. Make sure that if you take a child off the field for an injury that you have someone monitoring them for when they are ready to return. We take this part very seriously. Take a time out and coach the kid up if they are not doing their job. Don’t take him/her out of the game – it is a violation. (See call-out above for reference to loopholes)
No coach can deviate from these requirements and “invent” substitution patterns or specialty packages for whatever reason(s)!Making substitutions for one way players on the “goal line”, or “goal line stands”, “jumbo” offenses, etc. are prohibited. Basically, when the going gets tough, you can’t “beef up” by substituting for one-way players.The spirit and intent of the rule is the guiding principle…kids need to play! (See call-out above for reference to loopholes)
If a player is listed on the official roster, arrives at the game with a uniform, they must play!No club administrator or coach, may discipline a player for whatever reason by holding them out of a game, or any portion of a game, for any reason!Excuses like “missing practices”, late for practices, conduct, etc. are not acceptable. Major issues are to be dealt with by the Commissioner and the Executive Committee prior to it becoming an issue at the game.
Any deviation from the “spirit and intent” of this rule, as interpreted by the FCYFL, will result in SEVEREpenalties.
The FCYFL expects all coaches and commissioners to monitor this rule for compliance.Should a situation develop where a violation of the rule is detected, you are obligated to immediately notify all concerned. Clubs are required to report violations on their Field Reports.
The Player Participation Rule is NOT the responsibility of the Game Officials.
Every organization has been formally briefed on the importance of complying with this rule at the League’s monthly meetings. Ignorance of the rules is not an excuse. The teams that know the rule, understand the importance of the rule, practice the rule, and they have integrated all components of the rule into their coaching. These teams have no problem with compliance.
If you find yourself looking at this bulletin and the FCYFL Rules to find loopholes, you are not living up to the spirit and intent of the rule and you are violating the Code of Conduct.
Violators will have consequences. Don’t put yourself, your players and their families, or your Club in the position of being sanctioned. You are responsible.
The FCYFL Board has become aware that there may be efforts to establish new alternative tackle football programs in our region that are not affiliated with FCYFL. We want to inform families to beware imitation programs that seek to build off and exploit nearly 50 years of positive experiences enjoyed by the youth of Northern Virginia through participation in tackle football under the auspices of FCYFL.
Please be advised that these alternative programs are by no means affiliated with FCYFL and have not been sanctioned by the FCYFL Board. As is prudent whenever enrolling your child in any activity, we recommend that you thoroughly evaluate the program before enrolling.
As always, you can find a "Member Club" near you, by clicking the link above.
The Northern Virginia Football Hall of Fame is an organization that recognizes and promotes the special efforts of individuals from the local youth and scholastic football programs. This recognition includes our Inductees to the Hall of Fame that represent the rich history of the sport in the area as well as current football Players, Coaches, Officials, Cheerleaders, Administrators, and other individuals exhibiting outstanding dedication to the sport from both the scholastic and youth club ranks. Each year the NVFHOF holds a banquet to publicly recognize these individuals. Inductees are selected in consideration of their special contributions and devoted service to the game. Player and cheerleader awards are based upon leadership, dedication, conduct, character, and scholastic as well as athletic achievements. In bestowing these awards, NVFHOF strives to positively influence and reward the integrity, sportsmanship, and character of the individuals and the great game of football.
Register today with your local Member Club. Follow the "Member Clubs" link on the top menu to see a listing of our clubs, or click here to be taken to the listing directly.
Here are some general guidelines for choosing a club:
If you are a Fairfax County resident, you may register with any Fairfax County Member Club. We recommend that you join your local club or the one most convenient for you.
If you live in Arlington you must register with the Arlington club.
If you live in Alexandria you must register with the Alexandria club.
If you live in Prince William County there are boundary restrictions. Each Member Club in Prince William County has a territory from which it may draw. Please contact the clubs directly to determine which club you can join.
If you live in Loudon County contact Dulles South Youth Sports or D1 Sports and Athletics via our Member Clubs page.
Everyone participating in the Fairfax County Youth Football League (FCYFL) must have a valid VA DMV ID card in hand for weigh-in. No other form of ID is acceptable to FCYFL. This means FCYFL will not accept birth certificates, military IDs, passports or any form of ID other than a VA DMV ID.
For our returning players this is a gentle reminder to check the expiration date on your current ID. Older versions of the ID expire after 5 years. For our new players here is a link to the VA DMV website that explains how to obtain a VA DMV ID.
Due to security issues, the VA DMV will not issue an ID at the time of application. These IDs are mailed to your home and the process can take up to 2 weeks.